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"It is/has been 40 years since I left college"

Which one of 'is' and 'has been' should be preferred in above sentence and why?

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"It's been" a.k.a. "It has been" would be preferred because it's past tense.

"It's" can be used present tense or past tense.

e.g. "It is good" = "It's good"

e.g. "It has been" = "It's been seven hours and fifteen days..." ("Nothing Compares to You" song)

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